Surprisingly, whether you need a Living Trust does not depend on your net worth, but rather on your family structure, the kind of assets you have, who your beneficiaries are, and your goals for them.
A Living Trust will give you maximum flexibility, control and choices in planning your estate. It is a good choice if you want to avoid probate and protect your beneficiaries.
There are three main reasons you might want to avoid Probate:
- Cost. Probate is expensive. Attorney’s fees are set by law, and are a percentage of the gross value of the estate.
- Privacy. In a probate case private information about your beneficiaries and your assets is made public.
- Control. Since probate is a court proceeding, you can lose control of how and when your assets are distributed.
What is a living trust?
A Living Trust is a document that describes how your assets are to be handled while you are living and still competent, when you become incompetent, and after you pass away.
- While you are alive and competent you can continue to have complete control over your assets.
- If you should become incompetent the Trust says who should manage your assets, and how they should be managed and spent on your care.
- After you pass away it says how your assets should be distributed, or held in trust for loved ones, and who is to have those responsibilities.
With a Living Trust, you avoid the cost of probate. Your personal information does not become part of a court record. You control how and when distributions are made. It can protect the assets of your beneficiaries who are disabled, have debt and spending problems, divorce or spending issues, are financially inexperienced, or struggle with substance abuse.
With a Living Trust, you can simplify your estate and make it easier for your loved ones, while saving money and protecting those who need it. This planning tool can give you peace of mind and protect the ones you love.